Biomedical Imaging and Devices
Biomedical imaging is one of the most important tools for investigating anatomy, physiology, and function at multiple levels from cellular to the whole body.
At Mason Bioengineering, we are combining multiscale imaging, including new ultrasound, photoacoustic, and magnetic resonance imaging techniques with novel devices for modulating function, including transcranial magnetic stimulation, ultrasound induced bioeffects, and assistive technologies for rehabilitation.
Our areas of expertise include:
Ultrasound imaging and devices
This research investigates brain-body interactions through imaging. In particular, we are studying the interactions between the central and peripheral nervous system and the musculoskeletal system in a number of clinical conditions of major public health significance, such as chronic pain, stroke, spinal cord injury, and amputation.
Ongoing research includes the development and evaluation of novel bionic technologies, such as upper extremity prostheses and hybrid exoskeletons, using wearable imaging sensors for sensing the human user’s volitional intent. This approach can significantly improve the functionality of advanced prostheses and exoskeletons. Principal investigator: Siddhartha Sikdar.
Photoacoustic imaging and microscopy
Photoacoustic imaging is a hybrid imaging technique that combines the spectroscopic specificity of optics with tissue penetration of ultrasound. Our group focuses on novel implementations of photoacoustics for (1) non-contact microscopy of retinal vasculature, and (2) mapping cerebro-vascular function and neuro-electrical activity in the brain with the long-term goal of gaining insights into brain function and neurodegenerative diseases. Principal investigator: Parag Chitnis.
Brain imaging and neuro-rehabilitation for stroke patients
A common and particularly disabling effect of stroke is hemiparesis, or movement dysfunction on one side of the body. Thus, our work is focused on understanding the neural control of functional reaching movements, the mechanisms of stroke-induced impairment of arm movements, and the mechanisms of practice-induced improvements in reaching post-stroke.
To investigate these processes, we use tools such as brain imaging, non-invasive brain stimulation with real-time neuro-navigation, electromyography, and motion capture. We aim to identify neural mechanisms that contribute to the recovery of arm movements post-stroke and to develop interventions that target those mechanisms in combination with interventions, such as intensive task-specific practice, among others. At Mason Bioengineering, we are combining multiscale imaging, including new ultrasound, photoacoustic, and magnetic resonance imaging techniques with novel devices for modulating function, including transcranial magnetic stimulation, ultrasound induced bioeffects, and assistive technologies for rehabilitation. Principal investigator: Michelle Harris-Love.